(Posted April 11, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“We’re open for business,” said Rob Slane, county administrator.
The declaration came on April 9 after county commissioners Mark Forrest, David Hunter and Dr. Tony Xenikis signed a letter of intent, promising to have water service up and running in the I-70/U.S. Route 42 area in 18 to 24 months.
Late last year, the county acquired the water treatment plant at London Correctional Institution. The plan is to extend lines from that plant to the I-70/Route 42 interchange area. The county already provides sewer services to the area.
The letter of intent lets prospective developers know the county has a timeline for getting water services in place, Slane said.
The next step is to determine what path the lines will take from the plant to the interchange area. County officials were scheduled to meet with engineers on April 10 to talk more about the possibilities.
“We’re looking at four or five options. We need to associate costs with those options,” Slane said, adding that he expects to present the options with costs to the county commissioners within the next couple of weeks.
In other action, the commissioners approved a list of landowners who are applying to the state for purchase of an agricultural easement on their properties.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, funded through Clean Ohio, pays farm owners to commit their land to agricultural use in perpetuity. Successful applicants receive a one-time payment for the easement; the land then stays as farmland forever.
Each year, the county receives an allocation from the state for the program. This year’s allocation is $750,000, which likely is enough to fund the purchase of one or two easements, according to Julia Cumming with the Madison Soil and Water Conservation District.
Points are assigned based on various features of the farmland up for preservation. Funding is offered to the top-ranked applicants. Madison County currently has 6,000 acres across 24 farms in the farmland preservation program.
This year’s applicants up for consideration are as follows:
- Barbara Gordin–126.54 acres, Selsor Moon Road;
- Steven Price–200 acres, Danville Road;
- James Phillipi–77.1 acres, State Route 142;
- Chris and Marty Mace–110.2 acres, State Route 323;
- Kevin Summers–251.5 acres, Johnston Road;
- Corey Phillipi–56.48 acres, Glade Run and Sparling roads;
- Marian Fisher–176.4 acres, State Route 38;
- Marian Fisher–343.1 acres, State Route 38;
- Linda Hudson–152 acres, Selsor Moon Road;
- Geesling Farms LLC–94.6 acres, State Route 38;
- Matthew Furbee–41.9 acres, Armstrong Road;
- Dale Sheridan–81.8 acres, U.S. Route 42; and
- James Rhoades–81.48 acres, Woods and West Avenue.